As the leaves turn each fall, so does the tide of tourists that descends upon historic Salem. With October as the busiest month of the year in this beautiful, bewitching coastal town, restaurants and bars serve up seasonal fare to delight locals and tourists alike.
One such respite is Green Land Cafe, which turns out a thoughtful cocktail menu that rivals some of Boston’s better-known craft bars. With a focus on all things local and sustainable (the bar is actually handcrafted from the building’s original oak doors), bar steward Cai Walkowiak focuses on the quality of ingredients, as well as the history behind some of your favorite tipples.
Case in point: Walkowiak was inspired by the changing seasons to create Autumn’s Dawn, a balanced cocktail with hints of apple and ginger, plus the subtle sweetness of organic maple syrup. He uses Laird’s Applejack, an apple brandy made by America’s oldest family-run distillery—a recipe said to have been coveted by George Washington himself (take one sip and you’ll see why). Plus, the warming qualities of the brandy are perfectly suited for a crisp stroll around Salem to take in the spectacle that is Halloween.
Green Land Cafe also serves an impressive 16 beers on tap, most of which are craft brews, such as Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and local brands like Mayflower and Pretty Things. To complement the libations, a diverse menu of small plates and tapas serves up hearty helpings that are perfect for sharing. 87 Washington Street, Salem, 978-744-7766
Autumn’s Dawn – Makes one serving
2 oz. Laird’s Applejack
1/2 oz. maple syrup (preferably local and organic grade A)
1/2 oz. Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve straight up with flamed orange peel as garnish.